24 Best Winter Holiday Destinations in the World in 2024

Last Updated: January , 2024

Best Winter Sunshine Holiday Destinations

Throw off the winter chill and embrace the warmth of the sun in these sublime destinations. These spots are trendsetters when it comes to winter escapes, offering far more than just a blast of vitamin D.

Tenerife, Spain

In the heart of the Atlantic Ocean lies Tenerife, Spain’s winter sunshine superstar. With stunning landscapes ranging from verdant forests to desolate moonscapes and spectacular beaches, Tenerife promises an unforgettable winter sun holiday.

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Best Time to Visit

To enthral yourself in pleasant temperatures and fewer crowds, the winter months from November to March are ideal.

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Relish the day on Tenerife’s famous Playa de Las Americas beach.
  2. Explore the mystic Mount Teide National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  3. Discover the underwater world with a scuba-diving or snorkeling venture.
  4. Visit the historic town of La Laguna, another UNESCO site on the island.
  5. Treat yourself to a vibrant night out in Santa Cruz.

Cape Town, South Africa

Soak in stunning coastal scenery and balmy temperatures in Cape Town, one of South Africa’s premier winter sun destinations. Palm-lined beaches, mountains slicing through cityscapes, and world-renowned vineyards are just a glimpse of what awaits here.

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Best Time to Visit

Cape Town shows its warmest side during its summer months (November to February), coinciding perfectly with the Northern Hemisphere’s winter.

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Take the cable car to Table Mountain’s summit for breathtaking views.
  2. Taste South Africa’s world-class wines at Franschhoek vineyards.
  3. Visit the bustling Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.
  4. Witness the penguin colony at Boulders Beach.
  5. Explore the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, a wonderland of African flora.

Check out our South Africa Travel Guide.

Sydney, Australia

Sydney, an iconic city where golden beaches meet world-class attractions, is a treasure trove for sun-seekers in the winter. Here, the sun shines over the harbor, reflecting off the Sydney Opera House and shimmering through parks and natural reserves.

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Best Time to Visit

Beat the winter blues by catching the Australian summer. The best months to visit Sydney are from November to March, making Sydney one of the best winter holiday destinations.

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Capture incredible photos of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
  2. Bask in the sun at the famous Bondi Beach.
  3. Stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens.
  4. Take a ferry to the seaside town of Manly.
  5. Explore Darling Harbour for a blend of leisure and entertainment.

Check out our Australia Travel Guide.

Maui, Hawaii

Maui, an idyllic island paradise, will warm your winter soul with its sparkling beaches, vivid sunsets, and vibrant culture. It’s the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.

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Best Time to Visit

To get the most out of Maui’s blissful climate, visit between November and April.

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Drive the Road to Hana and experience Hawaii’s lush landscapes.
  2. Witness the sunrise from Haleakalā National Park.
  3. Indulge in snorkeling at Molokini Crater.
  4. Relax on Kaanapali Beach.
  5. Discover the charming historic town of Lahaina optimized for intriguing shopping and dining.

Best Winter Skiing Holiday Destinations

If carving lines through crisp, untouched powder is more your pace, these remarkable ski towns serve up some of the globe’s finest winter wonderlands. Get ready to embark on an exhilarating journey through the world’s best winter holiday destinations for skiing.

Whistler, Canada

World-famous Whistler, one of the largest ski resorts in North America, is a haven for winter sports enthusiasts. Nestled in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, it offers a blend of thrilling sports activities and mesmerizing natural beauty.

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Best Time to Visit

The best snow conditions in Whistler usually occur from December to February.

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Hit the slopes of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains.
  2. Explore the pristine winter landscapes on a snowshoeing trip.
  3. Experience the thrill of snowmobiling.
  4. Enjoy a snowy dog-sled ride.
  5. Relax your tired muscles in the Scandinave Spa.

Check out our Canada Travel Guide.

Chamonix, France

Chamonix, at the foot of Mont Blanc in France, is renowned for its spectacular setting and challenging ski slopes. Charm, history, and the vibrant mountain culture add to its allure.

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Best Time to Visit

To experience optimal skiing conditions, plan your visit from December to early April.

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Challenge yourself on the world-famous Vallee Blanche.
  2. Visit the Mer de Glace glacier.
  3. Take the cable car to Aiguille du Midi for a panoramic view.
  4. Get high on snowboarding in Le Tour.
  5. Relax in the evening at a cozy mountainside chalet.

Check out our France Travel Guide.

St. Moritz, Switzerland

St. Moritz, Switzerland’s luxury winter sports destination, boasts sharp Alpine skies and world-class skiing. Beyond its glamor lies a true winter wonderland with a multitude of sports and recreational activities.

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Best Time to Visit

December to March presents the most favorable skiing conditions, making this spot one of the best winter holiday destinations.

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Ski the slopes of the Corviglia region.
  2. Try the unique sport of bobsledding.
  3. Engage in high-class shopping in St. Moritz Dorf.
  4. Witness horse racing on the frozen lake.
  5. Enjoy a gourmet dining experience with stunning mountain views.

Check out our Switzerland Travel Guide.

Niseko, Japan

Niseko, recognized worldwide for its consistent powder snow, offers an unrivaled skiing experience. With a beautiful landscape against the backdrop of Mount Yotei, Niseko shines brightly on Japan’s winter sports scene.

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Best Time to Visit

Mid-December through February is when the powdery snow is in full glory in Niseko.

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Ski or snowboard on the fluffy powder snow of Mt. Annupuri.
  2. Warm up in a traditional onsen (hot spring).
  3. Taste the delectable local cuisine.
  4. Take a snowshoe tour in the tranquil forest.
  5. Try nighttime skiing for a different perspective.

Check out our Japan Travel Guide.

Best Winter Holiday Destinations for History and Culture

Immerse yourself in history, heritage, and culture this winter. Whether you prefer ancient ruins, eclectic art scenes or historical architecture, these four cities will offer a fresh perspective on your best winter holiday destinations.

Rome, Italy

Dubbed the ‘Eternal City’, Rome is a living museum of millennia-old ruins, awe-inspiring art, and vibrant street life. Winter in Rome brings cooler temperatures, fewer crowds and a special charm only found in the chillier months.

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Best Time to Visit

Rome breathes a different life in the winter months of mid-November to February, making it an ideal time to visit.

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Marvel at the Colosseum and Roman Forum.
  2. Visit the Vatican City to see St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel.
  3. Roam around the enchanting Trastevere neighborhood.
  4. Toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain.
  5. Explore the iconic Pantheon.

Check out our Italy Travel Guide.

Beijing, China

Beijing is a cultural epicenter as it mixes modern architecture with historic sites like the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, and the Great Wall of China. The city’s stark winter turns these historical sites into a snowy wonderland.

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Best Time to Visit

Though bitterly cold, December through February provides snowy scenic views absent of the usual tourist crowds, making it one of the best winter holiday destinations.

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Explore the Forbidden City.
  2. Climb the Great Wall at Mutianyu.
  3. Take a tour of the Summer Palace.
  4. Visit the Temple of Heaven Park.
  5. Explore 798 Art District.

Check out our China Travel Guide.

Istanbul, Turkey

Straddling two continents, Istanbul offers a blend of Eastern and Western culture unlike any other city. The city’s long history is palpable, from its Roman Aqueducts to the minarets of the Ottoman Empire.

Best Winter Holiday Destinations - Istanbul - osam tour

Best Time to Visit

The winter months, December to February, offers unique views of the city under a light snowfall.

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Visit the stunning Hagia Sophia Museum.
  2. Explore the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace.
  3. Hunt for bargains in the Grand Bazaar.
  4. Visit Dolmabahçe Palace to glimpse the Ottoman Empire’s European style.
  5. Enjoy a cruise on the Bosphorus.

Cairo, Egypt

Centered around the Nile river, Cairo is a vibrant mix of history and the present day, of old, intricate mosques, and suburban skyscrapers. The city comes alive in the cooler winter months, offering a deep dive into Egyptian history and civilization.

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Best Time to Visit

The months from November to March offer the most comfortable climate to enjoy the historic wonders of Cairo.

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Wander through the Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx.
  2. Explore the Egyptian Museum for historical artifacts.
  3. Visit the Citadel of Saladin and the Mosque of Muhammad Ali.
  4. Stroll around the bustling Khan El Khalili Bazaar.
  5. Cruise along the Nile for breathtaking sunset views.

Check out our Egypt Travel Guide.

Best Winter Holiday Destinations for Outdoor Adventurers

Embrace the magic of the season in all its snow-clad, icy splendor with these adventurous winter holiday destinations. Prepare for a wild ride as we journey through some of the best spots for outdoor adventurers.

Queenstown, New Zealand

Renowned as New Zealand’s adventure capital, Queenstown is a place where the mountains meet the lake with pristine beauty. It offers an exhilarating array of activities tailored for adrenaline seekers.

Best Winter Holiday Destinations - Queenstown - osam tour

Best Time to Visit

As this is in the Southern Hemisphere, June to August is the most optimal period for winter adventures, making this area one of the best winter holiday destinations.

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Thrill yourself with Skiing or Snowboarding down The Remarkables.
  2. Experience Bungee jumping at the AJ Hackett Bungy Bridge.
  3. Go white water rafting down Shotover River.
  4. Indulge in a scenic heli-ski adventure.
  5. Take a guided ice-climbing tour.

Check out our New Zealand Travel Guide.

Patagonia, Argentina

Patagonia, the southern frontier of South America, is a breathtakingly beautiful realm of mountains, glaciers, and adventures. Its almost mythical winter landscape promises unforgettable outdoor experiences.

Best Winter Holiday Destinations - Patagonia - osam tour

Best Time to Visit

June to August provides the ultimate winter wilderness experience.

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Trek the Glaciar Perito Moreno.
  2. Enjoy skiing on Mount Martial.
  3. Explore the Tierra Del Fuego National Park.
  4. Visit the world’s southernmost city, Ushuaia.
  5. Whale watch in the Atlantic at Peninsula Valdes.

Check out our Argentina Travel Guide.

Yosemite National Park, USA

Winter in Yosemite National Park transforms the landscape into a tranquil paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Its spectacular frost-covered cliffs and snow-blanketed meadows cater perfectly to all types of adventures, making it one of the best winter holiday destinations.

Best Winter Holiday Destinations - Yosemite National Park - osam tour

Best Time to Visit

Think winter getaway and the period from December to February immediately springs to mind.

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Ski along Glacier Point Road.
  2. Enjoy a guided snowshoe walk under the stars.
  3. Go on a photography tour of the snow-capped Yosemite Valley.
  4. Experience ice climbing in the park.
  5. Watch for wildlife in Yosemite in winter.

Check out our USA Travel Guide.

Svalbard, Norway

Situated halfway between Norway and the North Pole, Svalbard is a stark yet beautiful archipelago. Its polar nights, northern lights, and unique wildlife make it a true winter adventure paradise.

Best Winter Holiday Destinations - Svalbard - osam tour

Best Time to Visit

Visit between November and February for the mesmerizing Polar Night experience.

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Take a dog sled ride through the wilderness.
  2. Search for the Northern Lights aboard a snowmobile.
  3. Enjoy ice caving in glacier crevasses.
  4. Visit Pyramiden, a unique Soviet-era ghost town.
  5. Experience a boat safari, keeping eyes open for polar bears and walruses.

Check out our Norway Travel Guide.

Best Winter Holiday Destinations for Shopping

For those who view shopping as a top holiday activity, you’re in for a treat. These best winter holiday destinations offer a diverse mix of traditional marketplaces, high-street favorites, and bespoke boutiques, making them a shopaholic’s winter wonderland.

New York City, USA

New York City, synonymous with world-class shopping, presents an abundance of flagship stores, luxury brands, and unique boutiques. With the city decked out in holiday décor, the shopping experience here becomes even more enchanting in winter.

Best Winter Holiday Destinations - New York City - osam tour

Best Time to Visit

New York comes alive with holiday spirit from late November to January, making it a great time for winter shopping.

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Shop till you drop at Fifth Avenue.
  2. Discover high-end brands at Madison Avenue.
  3. Browse the stalls of Chelsea Market.
  4. Hunt for vintage treasures in Brooklyn Flea Market.
  5. Visit Macy’s Herald Square, the world’s largest department store.

Paris, France

Paris, the world’s fashion capital, is a shopping paradise. With haute couture houses, stylish boutiques, vintage shops, and charming flea markets, Paris turns every shopping excursion into a dreamy affair in winter, and becomes one of the best winter holiday destinations.

Best Winter Holiday Destinations - Paris - osam tour

Best Time to Visit

Late November to early February is perfect for the winter collections and festive shopping.

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Browse high-end boutiques along Champs Elysées.
  2. Shop for couture at Avenue Montaigne.
  3. Visit the iconic department stores like Printemps and Galeries Lafayette.
  4. Explore Le Marais for vintage clothing and unique crafts.
  5. Shop for books and souvenirs in the Latin Quarter.

Dubai, UAE

Dubai, a modern shopping oasis, boasts a plethora of mega-malls and bustling souks. Where else can you buy gold, spices, and haute couture fashion all within a few miles of each other?

Best Winter Holiday Destinations - Dubai - osam tour

Best Time to Visit

The months from November to March are cooler and coincide with the epic Dubai Shopping Festival.

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Visit the mega Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates.
  2. Explore Gold Souk and Spice Souk in Deira.
  3. Discover local and international designers at the Design District.
  4. Shop traditional clothing and jewelry at Textile Souk.
  5. Explore Global Village for international items and cultural experiences.

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, with its mix of futuristic malls, designer boutiques, and traditional markets, is a unique shopping destination. Shopping here in winter is even more special with year-end sales and incredible holiday displays.

Best Winter Holiday Destinations - Tokyo - osam tour

Best Time to Visit

The winter months from November to February are perfect for finding year-end deals and new year sales.

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Visit the fashion-forward shops in Harajuku.
  2. Browse high-end boutiques in Ginza.
  3. Shop for electronics in the famous Akihabara district.
  4. Explore the Ameya-Yokocho Market for amazing deals.
  5. Visit Asakusa for traditional Japanese crafts and souvenirs.

Best Affordable Winter Holiday Destinations

Exploring the world doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank. Find rich culture, enticing cuisines, and stunning landscapes in these best winter holiday destinations that offer a bang for your buck. Here are the most cost-effective places to jet off to this winter season.

Krakow, Poland

Krakow, renowned for its Old Town with well-preserved medieval core and Jewish quarter, offers cultural richness without the high price tag. Its winter charm and affordability make it a top pick for budget travellers.

Best Winter Holiday Destinations - Krakow - osam tour

Best Time to Visit

Visit in the winter months from November to February for lower prices and fewer crowds.

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Explore the Main Market Square in the Old Town.
  2. Visit the historic Wawel Castle.
  3. Wander through the Jewish Kazimierz district.
  4. Visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
  5. Discover the haunting beauty of the Wieliczka Salt Mine.

Check out our Poland Travel Guide.

Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is a bustling metropolis where ancient cultural sites meet modern lifestyle. Its affordable street food, low-cost shopping, and reasonable accommodation options make it a favorite winter escape for budget adventurers.

Best Winter Holiday Destinations - Bangkok - osam tour

Best Time to Visit

November to February is the cool, dry season perfect for experiencing Bangkok, making it one of the best winter holiday destinations.

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Visit the Grand Palace and Wat Prakeaw.
  2. Stroll around Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn).
  3. Shop in the lively Chatuchak Weekend Market.
  4. Enjoy a long-tail boat tour of the city’s canals.
  5. Explore the vibrant nightlife in Khao San Road.

Check out our Thailand Travel Guide.

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary’s capital, is famous for its dramatic history, flamboyant architecture, and healing thermal waters, all surprisingly affordable. In the winter season, it transforms into a festive wonderland, becoming one of the best winter holiday destinations.

Best Winter Holiday Destinations - Budapest - osam tour

Best Time to Visit

Visit between November and February for fewer crowds, lower prices, and magical winter vibes.

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Roam around the beautiful Castle Hill.
  2. Visit the majestic Parliament building.
  3. Enjoy an evening dip in the Széchenyi Thermal Bath.
  4. Take a scenic cruise along the Danube River.
  5. Explore the Christmas markets, particularly the one at Vorosmarty Square.

Check out our Hungary Travel Guide.

Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City is a vibrant destination that offers a potent mix of traditional culture, modern lifestyle, and an enticing food scene. Its affordability makes it an attractive winter holiday destination.

Best Winter Holiday Destinations - Mexico City - osam tour

Best Time to Visit

For cooler temperatures and cultural events, visit Mexico City between November and April.

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Visit the famous Zocalo, the city’s main square.
  2. Explore the historical Chapultepec Castle.
  3. Visit the Frida Kahlo Museum in Coyoacán.
  4. Wander around the ancient city of Teotihuacan.
  5. Enjoy the city’s culinary scene with a food tour.

Check out our Mexico Travel Guide.

Conclusion

Winter travel is full of enchanting possibilities. Whether you’re seeking a sun-soaked getaway in Maui, an adrenaline-fueled adventure in Queenstown, a historic tour in Istanbul, or a budget-friendly escapade in Bangkok, there’s a winter destination made just for you. This diverse list of locales caters to a wide range of traveler personalities, budgets, and interests. So, grab your coat, pack that suitcase, and get ready to craft incredible memories in one of the best winter holiday destinations in the world in 2024.

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